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What is a Restomod? Everything You Need to Know

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Global car makers often take cues from the past to design a new car. However, electric concepts have made it possible to think outside the box and bring back iconic cars from the past. With innovative concepts like the Hyundai Nvision 74 and Nissan GT-R R 32 EV being teased, restomods have significance in the car industry like never before.  

Electrification in the car industry is opening new avenues for car makers to experiment with. Drawing inspiration from cars of the past that were hot sellers is one such avenue. If the hype around teasers and prototype launches of Nvision 74 and GTR EV are anything to go by, expect a lot! If you are new to restomods or unsure about what the buzz around restomods is all about, continue reading. We got you covered with almost everything you need to know about restomods of past, present, and future!

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What is a Restomod?

Restomod Lancia

Restomods are cars built on the principle of ‚ÄėRestoration‚Äô and ‚ÄėModification‚Äô together. Simply put, these are classic cars that are restored and modified to improve performance. Any classic car with a chassis and four wheels can be made into a restomod. It all comes down to how creative you can get and the availability of parts. As most restomods are cars from the past, you also need a good pair of hands that‚Äôs used to working on classic cars.¬† ¬†

While it is comparatively easy to restore a classic car, modifying the car to all its glory is easier said than done. Sourcing parts that fit or making enough modifications for just about any mechanical part to fit can be challenging. Ensuring you fit everything perfectly is another crucial aspect of crafting the absolute best restomod. But there are plenty of great examples where restomods outshine the original by miles ahead. To help you get started, here are some great restomod examples. 

RUF SCR

RUF SCR 946

RUF Automobiles is one of the best examples to showcase what a restomod done right could do. The company, which started as a garage, now designs its own cars and sells performance parts. What initially started as performance upgrades to Porsche cars, especially the Porsche 964 generation, quickly became an instant hit. With more people wanting RUF upgrades, they soon become a forerunner in modifying and restoring classics from Porsche. The RUF SCR is one of their hot-selling restomods, restored from a Porsche 911. With a 4.0L flat-six naturally aspirated engine that delivers 510bhp at 470Nm of torque, this is a restomod not for the faint-hearted.

Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25

Aston Martin Vanquish Callum 25

Ian Callum, the first-generation Aston Martin Vanquish designer, had the rare opportunity to redesign his own car! After leaving Aston Martin, Callum launched Callum Designs and bought a new Vanquish for himself. He then collaborated with R-Reforged to restore the first-generation Vanquish by removing things he did not like. Some of his tweaks include Bilstein dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars, 10mm lower ride height, 60mm wider track height, and carbon ceramic brakes. The 5.9L V12 also gets a boost of 60hp, making it churn out a whopping 580bhp. There are also cosmetic changes, like a front splitter and a bigger rear diffuser. Wondering why the car is called a Callum Vanquish 25? There will only be 25 production models of the Callum Vanquish, making it a unique and limited edition restomod!  

Automobile Amos Lancia Delta Futurista

Lancia Delta Futurista

The Lancia Delta Integrale from the 1980s was one of the best rally cars of its time. However, Lancia faded from rallying and all kinds of motorsports equally quickly. This made Lancia Delta HF Integrale, one of the best compact cars ever made, a forgotten legend. Automobile Amos unlocked the potential of what could have been the Lancia story had they not quit by restoring a Delta HF. The result was one of the most futuristic-looking Lancia Delta ever made, aptly named the Lancia Delta Futurista. It’s hard to believe that this car is made from the original Lancia Delta because of how sharp, bold, and futuristic the design looks. With tweaks to its original 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, this Lancia now delivers 330bhp and accelerates from 0-60mph in just four seconds!

How Much Does a Restomod Cost?

Restomodifications air filter cold air intake

Restomods are cool to drive around as they instantly stand out. However, they do come with hefty price tags, depending on the modifications you want. Parts availability can also be an issue, as you are dealing with cars you can no longer buy from a showroom. On the flip side, there are still restomod cars that are budget friendly to drive around. You will also need to source and find a donor car to transform into a restomod. Check out car auctions and online auctions near you to see if you get a good deal. Once you have a good donor car, go through this checklist to get an idea of how much a restomod costs.  

Keep Original Parts  

If you are on a tight budget to restomod your car, keeping original parts can be a great way to save money. Finding a classic car with all parts intact and in mint condition can be a dream scenario for saving money. You will only need to restore the car cosmetically and require minimal performance upgrades, which will help with low-budget restomods.   

Find Upgraded Parts  

If you want a complete restoration and modification for your restomod, you will need to go shopping for performance parts. They can be expensive, depending on the make and model. However, finding a good mechanic with a wide range of knowledge on different cars can help you save a lot. If you find a cheap deal for a car that does not have an engine, consider shopping for cheaper engines first. Getting an engine swap is one of the easiest ways to increase your restomod performance rapidly.   

Approach Professional Restomodders  

For those who want a complete restomod package without budget constraints, consider approaching professional resto modders. Thanks to their vast experience in the field, they can guide you through the process and help you find the best performance upgrades. Most resto modders will have expertise in a specific car, which makes it easy to find the best resto modder. On average, a good restomod transition will cost you anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000 and more.   

Are Restomod Cars Reliable?

reliable restomod cars

It all comes down to who built your restomod car, the levels of modifications you made, and the quality of parts you used. If you have invested in building a car from scratch, researched, and bought the best parts, then yes, restomod cars can be reliable. Are restomods legit? Again, it all comes down to how you source the donor car and do the required paperwork. If everything is done right, and your car only has street legal modifications, your restomod car is legit. Remember, with restomods, you are reviving a car to a bigger, better version. Not all cars were made to be reliable or have a track record suggesting the same. Do your research and buy a car that’s a proven winner before starting your restomod project to get the best results.

Final Thoughts 

Restomods are your best bet if you are tired of driving boring cars or want to stand out. If you loved the feel of a classic car but never got the opportunity to drive it, do it with a restomod. If you have a dream project car, buy a used car and modify it as a restomod. The opportunities are endless for those that desire a restomod. Just make sure that you remember it is a restoration project, and just about anything could go wrong. If you are up for the challenge, stop thinking and start building a restomod car today.


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